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Imacoqwa’s Arrow

On the Biunity of the Sun and Moon in a Papuan Lifeworld

A pathbreaking study of Yagwoia cosmological concepts.

In Imacoqwa’s Arrow, Jadran Mimica draws on decades of field research to bring us a rich ethnographic account of myth and meaning in the lifeworlds of the Yagwoia of Papua New Guinea. He focuses especially on the relations of the sun and the moon in Yagwoia understandings of the universe and their own place within it. This is classic terrain in Melanesian ethnography, but Mimica does much more than add to the archive of anthropological accounts of the significance of the sun and the moon for peoples of this part of the world. With extraordinary rigor and reflexivity, he grounds his understanding of Yagwoia concepts in psychoanalytic and phenomenological methods that afford a radically new and revealing translation of these seminal themes in Melanesian mythology and its poetics. This is a major contribution to the hermeneutics of ethnographic translation and theorization.

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